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64                          BYZANTINE CHURCHES                       CHAP.
high treason ; but on the eve of his execution, a formidable figure, as some authorities maintain,1 or as others affirm, the saints Sergius and Bacchus, appeared to the sovereign in a vision and commanded him to spare the conspirators. Thus Justinian lived to reach the throne, and when the full significance of his preservation from death became clear in the lustre of the imperial diadem, he made his deliverers the object of his devout regard. Indeed, in his devotion to them he erected other sanctuaries to their honour also in other places of the Empire.2 Still this church, founded early in his reign, situated beside his residence while heir-apparent, and at the gates of the Great Palace, and withal a gem of art, must be considered as Justinian's special thankoffering for his crown.
With the church of SS. Sergius and Bacchus was associated a large monastery known, after the locality in which it stood, as the monastery of Hormisdas, eV TOA? 'QpfAio-Sov. It was richly endowed by Justinian.3
There is some obscurity in regard to the church of SS. Peter and Paul. According to Theophanes,4 the first church in Constantinople built in honour of those apostles was built at the suggestion of a Roman senator Festus, who on visiting the eastern capital, in 499, was astonished to find no sanctuary there dedicated to saints so eminent in Christian history, and so highly venerated by the Church or the West. As appears from a letter addressed in 519 to Pope Hormisdas by the papal representative at the court of Constantinople, a church of that dedication had been recently erected by Justinian while holding the office of Comes Domesticorum under his uncle Justin I. c Your son,' says the writer, c the magnificent Justinians acting as becomes his faith, has erected a basilica or the Holy Apostles, in which he wishes relics of the martyr
1  Du Cange, iv. p. 135.
2  Cedren. 1. p. 635 ; Procop. Secret History, c, 6 ; Procop. De aed. ii. p. 234 ; Theoph. p. 339 j Theoph. Cont. p. 154.
3  Cedren. I. pp. 642-43.   The Synaxaria (Sirmondi) speak of three churches of S. Sergius, in or near Constantinople ; & rats Zo0lať, Oct. 7 ; irXyarlov -H?s 'Aertov Kivffrtyvw,  Nov. 9  (near Monastery of Manuel, p. 258) j vtpav to '
May 29 (near KLadikeui).
4  Page 220.